Christian-Muslim Relations 1500 - 1900

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European Qur’an translations, 1500-1700
(5,881 words)

A flawed forerunner [1]

In 1480-81, a Sicilian Jewish convert to Christianity named Flavius Mithridates (alias Guillelmus Raymundus de Montecathero) translated sūras 21 and 22 of the Qur’an into Latin for Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. They appear side by side with the Arabic text in two columns, accompanied by a commentary in a de luxe manuscript now preserved in the Vatican. We cannot help but see in the visually impressive presentation of Mithridates’ edition and translation a nod to the values of humanist scholarship returning ad fontes, which is also to be found in o…

Cite this page
Burman, Thomas E., “European Qur’an translations, 1500-1700”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 1500 - 1900, General Editor David Thomas. Consulted online on 18 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2015

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